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Ex-NFL QB Leaf has benign tumor removed from brain stem

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf was recovering Tuesday in California after doctors removed a benign tumor from his brain stem.

Leaf, 35, had been experiencing headaches, dizziness and blurred vision before seeing a doctor May 18, his publicist, Margo Myers, told The Associated Press. He had surgery a week later at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., and was released Saturday.

"I am looking forward to resting a bit and being with my family," Leaf said in a statement. "This was just another bridge for me to cross, and I will continue to live each day to the fullest and give back where I can!"

Leaf, a Great Falls, Mont., native, starred at Washington State, and the San Diego Chargers made him the second pick of the 1998 NFL draft. He played for the Chargers from 1998 to 2000 and for the Cowboys in 2001.

He threw for 3,666 yards and 14 touchdowns in his career, and he is considered one of the league's biggest busts.

In April 2010, Leaf pleaded guilty to eight felony drug charges in Texas and received 10 years of probation and a $20,000 fine. He was coaching quarterbacks at West Texas A&M at the time.

Leaf recently finished writing a draft of his first of three books he's penning for Crimson Oak Publishing, a Pullman, Wash.-based publisher, about his life, football career and addiction to painkillers. He also writes a column for his alma mater's website and sells resort packages in British Columbia.

Leaf also spends time talking to groups about his addiction.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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